GREEN BAY – The local youth cheerleaders of Badger Elite Cheer & Stunt wrapped up their debut season with a first and second place finish at the Title Town National Cheerleading Championship in Green Bay this past weekend. The Junior Elite team placed first in the Mini Recreational division and the Senior Elite placed second in the Middle school division at the Title Town National Championship.
The program is made up of two teams: Junior elite (kindergarten-1st graders) and Senior Elite (2nd-8th graders). Although they practice in Shullsburg, six area districts are represented among the 31 team members. Students from Shullsburg, Darlington, Scales Mound, Black Hawk, Cuba City, and River Ridge (Ill.) meet once a week at St. Matthew’s gym in Shullsburg to practice and perfect their skills and competition routines.
The program was started last spring by head coach Katie Daentl of Shullsburg who cheered competitively from youth through collegiate level at UW- Platteville. Melissa Dittmar and Brooke Fennell are assistant coaches in the program.
Once her daughter entered kindergarten and was at the age many competitive cheerleaders first start, head coach Katie Daentl began searching local cheer programs to enroll her in and found nothing.
“I couldn’t let the opportunity for her to experience what competitive cheer is all about to pass, so I decided to put my experience and coaching certificate to use and bring that opportunity not only to my daughter, but local children as well,” said Daentl.
The cheerleaders, despite having no prior cheer experience, have learned all about the sport and went into their competitive season ready to work.
“The girls really didn’t know what to expect going into these competitions. Although I’ve experienced it many times as a cheerleader, it was hard for me to put into words what it’s like. They just had to get out there on the performance mat and see for themselves,” stated Daentl.
Many of the teams at these events have their own facilities strictly dedicated to cheer and are
able to practice three to four times a week where Badger Elite Cheer share a gym with the local church one night a week.
“Some may see this as a disadvantage but to me, I feel like this really drove us to push harder at practice,” Daentl added.
New season registration is being held Saturday, April 25 from 1-4 p.m. at the Shullsburg fire station for student’s kindergarten-8th grade. If interested or have any questions regarding the program, please contact coach Katie Daentl at firstname.lastname@example.org.